Monday, 25 November 2019

GE 2019 The ITV Debate

Last Tuesday the ITV held a 'debate' between the PM Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn.

It was not a debate in the real sense more like two individual interviews glued together. There was an audience with questions, which were longer than the answers, but every time one of the two prepared a response, it was cut short by the host. I am sure the 50 minutes could have been used more prudently to allow each side a chance to get their statements across.

Hosted by news presenter Julie Etchingham, the head-to-head marks the first time since 2015 that both the Labour and Conservative party leaders have taken part in a TV debate. It is telling on how well leaders perform in these kinds of debates, which can make or break their popularity with voters.

Boris Johnson faced dismissive laughs when confronted over whether politicians respected the truth as both party leaders struggled to convince a sceptical audience during the programme. Mr Johnson started off strongly as Jeremy Corbyn was unable to give a convincing answer on his Brexit policy for the first 10 minutes, but both were then hit by moments of disdain as they moved onto issues of the union, anti-semitism and the toxic debate that plagues politics. Jeremy Corbyn was mocked over his Brexit policy by a live television audience after he refused nine times to say whether he thought Britain should leave the EU or remain.

The final audience question was "What Christmas present would you give each other"? Jeremy Corbyn joked he would leave a copy of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens under Boris Johnson's tree. Boris Johnson had the audience and ITV Leaders' Debate moderator Julie Etchingham grinning with his response. The Conservative leader said: "I would probably leave a copy of – since he made a literary effort – my brilliant Brexit deal which allows us to come out.

It was too short and interrupted [by the host too much] to say whether one side or the other had come out on top. However, a draw at least allows Jeremy Corbyn to give a sigh of relief as their polls fall ever lower and could be considered a win!

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